Filed Under: "1940s"

Spot illustrations for Columbia Records new release monthly, Coda.

Continue Reading... Coda spot illos, ca. 1944

Crosby Classics

March 2, 2016

We’re grateful to Jeffrey Ferguson, who alerted us to this previously overlooked early Flora cover. Based on the catalog number (M-555) and some internet research, this cover dates from 1944, which would make it the earliest known illustrated Jim Flora cover. Though unsigned, the tiger-striped typography and horseback rider point to Flora as the artistic culprit. In 1944 he was art director of Columbia, which was issuing back catalog in 78 folio format owing to…

Continue Reading... Crosby Classics

At JimFlora.com we’re issuing our first new limited edition fine art print in over a year. Spectators, an uncirculated 1940s-era tempera, depicts a phantasmagoria of grotesque faces, with stray limbs. This work has not previously been reproduced or published anywhere. The original is owned by Flora’s godson, Keith McAllister, of California, who granted us permission to professionally photograph the work and issue it as a limited edition print.  Only twenty-five (25) prints of Spectators were…

Continue Reading... Spectators — new fine art print

Illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer Hit of the Week, August 1942, promoting clarinet-tooting bandleader Benny Goodman’s new single, “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.” At the time, Flora was working in the Columbia art department under then-Art Director Alex Steinweiss. Another illustration from this series of ads can be viewed here.

Continue Reading... I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo

Another Flora album cover—although in this case the product is digital-only. The illustration originally appeared in the December 1945 issue of Columbia’s Coda new-release monthly, which Flora wrote, edited, and illustrated for three years. The detail was adapted for this digital album cover by Flora co-archivist Irwin Chusid, who also represents the Sun Ra estate. The album is available at iTunes. Flora’s album cover legacy has extended into the 21st century, with designers adapting his images…

Continue Reading... Sun Ra: Solo Piano (a la Flora)

Reader/art lover Tiago writes: “I am a huge fan of Jim Flora’s work. (I have already bought books and prints.) I would like to share this image of my latest tattoo, from a Flora work. Hope you guys like it! It is a sincere homage to one of my favorite artists!” The original illustration is from 1942: This isn’t the first time Flora has inspired skin art: Bix, birthday boyFresh ink and Flora tattoo #2Demonstrated…

Continue Reading... Fresh Ink and Flora tattoo #4

Spot illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer, November 7, 1942, promoting bandleader Horace Heidt’s new single, “Pennsylvania Polka.” Despite the caption,  there appear to be no casualties on the dance floor.

Continue Reading... murder in the Keystone State

Party Animals

December 24, 2013

Detail of untitled 1940s tempera casually referred to as “Tenement K,” which contains quite a few enigmatic and disturbing tenants. The original work is owned by Keith McAllister, who extracted the above celebratory duo to produce a holiday card titled “Party Animals.” No better way to ring in seasonal festivities than a curiously sinister Flora tableau.

Continue Reading... Party Animals

Tenement K

October 22, 2013

Today we introduce a new limited edition fine art print called TENEMENT K, whose residents are bawdy, musical, criminal, and/or exhibitionistic. Doesn’t matter if you’re rowdy, serpentine, or headless—the landlord will rent you a room. If you were a mutant miscreant, you’d be home by now. The previously unpublished and uncirculated work, which dates from the 1940s, is owned by a private collector who allowed us to have the work professionally photographed for print reproduction….

Continue Reading... Tenement K

WOW! YIP! Don’t miss this!

September 20, 2013

Spot illustration, Columbia Records new popular-release weekly trade mailer, October 31, 1942, promoting Kay Kyser and His Orchestra’s single “Can’t Get Out of This Mood” (Columbia 36657)

Continue Reading... WOW! YIP! Don’t miss this!

the hand as pillow

June 19, 2013

Untitled pen & ink drawing, 1942 (reproduced in our  second book, The Curiously Sinister Art of  Jim Flora)

Continue Reading... the hand as pillow

More current activity in the Florasphere (see Part 1 here): We’re preparing several new fine art prints for release, including a Mambo For Cats giclée (the oversized screen print sold out last year, but the Mambo mini remains available). Above is a mockup of a proposed print that might make it into 2013’s release queue. Our Tokyo-based Floraphile friend Takashi Okada has compiled and designed The Raymond Scott Songbook, a magnificent two-CD set of vintage and rare Scott recordings…

Continue Reading... Too Much Information – Part 2
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